In honor of Eric’s favorite author, today’s post features a handful of quotes from none other than C. S. Lewis. Lewis knew about love and he knew about loss. His books have taught and inspired millions, so I think we can all stand to gain from his wisdom and example. ~smile~
“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines affection as “a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something.” What comes to mind when you think of ‘affection?’ Cuddling with your pet? Hugs? Unexpected gifts from someone you love? Kissing?
When I think of affection, I typically think of expressing love to Eric through hugs, back rubs, and snuggles. However, affection is something we can feel and express. Love (i.e., a verb) is something we do despite our feelings. Even though I am furious with you, I am going to wash your shirts because I love you and I know you need them for your trip. Affection is associated with love, but refers to feelings of fondness. If you feel affection for someone, there is a lightness around your heart where he or she is concerned. You associate him or her with goodness and happiness.
Those who are truly happy in this world tend to have people in their lives for whom they feel great affection. It is great to know that others feel affectionate towards you, but if you felt no affection towards any of them, you would still be unhappy. Right?
When we first came home with Ramsey (our golden retriever), I thought she was the greatest little pup in the world. If someone had taken her away from me then, I would have been very upset. Now, after connecting and bonding with her for the last few years, I would be devastated if someone took her from me. As my connection with her has grown, my affections have grown as well.
Affection is a direct result of connecting with others and, as C.S. Lewis stated, affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
“I have no duty to be anyone’s Friend and no man in the world has a duty to be mine. No claims, no shadow of necessity. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Friendship, in and of itself, cannot feed you. It cannot clothe you. It cannot build you a home. To physically survive in this world, friendship is not required. However, without friendship (companionship, affection, etc.), what reasons do we have to survive? Friendship gives us quality of life. As John Milton said, “Loneliness was the first thing that God’s eye named ‘not good.’”
Risking rejection takes bravery, but if we do not seek out friendships and connections with others, we settle for a lonely existence. Wealth would be worthless if I did not have friends and family to enjoy it with me. Any goal I reached would feel hollow without my support system there to celebrate with me! And, I am thankful indeed that when I feel friendless and lonely, God is always there.
“What a friend we have in Jesus. All are sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh, what gifts we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” – Joseph M. Scriven, 1855
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
I love this cartoon. It literally illustrates this quote so well!
This quote says it all and needs no commentary. If we are to love, we must be vulnerable. If we are vulnerable, we will occasionally be hurt. However, the alternative is much worse – an unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable heart that is incapable of giving and receiving life giving love.
“Affection would not be affection if it was loudly and frequently expressed; to produce it in public is like getting your household furniture out for a move. It did very well in its place, but it looks shabby or tawdry or grotesque in the sunshine.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Let’s have a quick chat about public displays of affection. ~smile~ When I see a couple canoodling in public, my thought is not, “Awww, look at that sweet couple connecting.” I usually think something more along the lines of, “Gross! Please don’t drag me into your bedroom against my will!” Affection is important, but it has its time and place. There is nothing wrong with the world knowing you love your sweetie. An arm around the shoulder, holding hands, and heads on shoulders are sweet and mild. They get the point across. Once long kisses and inappropriate touching begins, innocence is gone.
There is the line of thinking that says, “It’s nobody’s business what we do!” And then there is Biblical thinking that says we are under the law of love (Romans 13:10). Public affection that turns into foreplay is not only awkward for those who have to endure the sight of it, but it can lead the couple and onlooking others to think lustful thoughts. That is, it can make them stumble.
Enjoy showing affection, and never stop no matter how many years you have been married. Just be mindful of your surroundings and remember that public displays of affection can quickly change from sweet to shabby, tawdry, or grotesque. ~smile~
“All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
A few years before my grandma passed away, she found a poem that spoke to her. I don’t remember most of it, but the end of the poem talked about investing in family because out of everything we “own,” they are the only ones we can take to Heaven with us. Though we know we cannot determine whether or not our family will or will not come to Christ, we can pray for, invest in, and give our energy to them.
Some people really grasp Matthew 6:19-21 and some do not. Though I would like to say I have arrived, I still struggle with eternal thinking. Connecting with family and friends is important for our own needs, but how often do we consider connecting with them of eternal significance? I have no doubt that my strong connection to my grandma, parents, and mentor has shaped my worldview and my view of God. Next time you spend time with you loved ones, think about how you can impact them spiritually. There is no greater reason to connect with someone. ~smile~
If Eric could have a meal with any non-relative who has passed away, I am confident he would choose C.S. Lewis. Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for your amazing works, for making us think, and for investing in our souls and minds!
What has your favorite author taught you about love, affection, commitment, and connection?